Papuans To Convene Third
National Congress in October
The Papuan National Collective, comprising leaders of the Dewan Adat Papua
(the Papuan Customary Council), and leaders of Papuan religious, human rights,
women, and youth organizations have announced the convening of the "Third Papuan
Congress," in Jayapura, October 16-19, 2011. Members of the Provincial Papuan
Assembly (DPRD) will also participate in the congress.
According to the Collective leaders, the theme of the congress is "Affirming the
basic rights of the indigenous Papuan people for the present and the future."
The gathering will address agendas presented by all participating representatives such as the protection of fundamental human rights, including
the right to self determination; accountability of security forces for crimes
against the civilian population, and protection of the environment. The leaders
have noted that they expect congress to reaffirm Papuans' commitment to pursue
respect for their rights through peaceful means.
The First Papuan Congress occurred on October
16-19,1961. At that congress, Papuan leaders declared the desire of the Papuan
people to become a free and independent nation. The second congress convened in
May 2000 with the support of then Indonesian President Abdul Wahid Rahman.
Papuan leaders rejected the 1962 "New York Agreement" which surrendered control
of West Papua to Indonesia. The congress also rejected the "Act of Free Choice,"
the fraudulent process that in 1969 denied Papuans their right of
self-determination. The congress called on the UN to revoke November 19, 1969
UN Resolution 2504 which formally recognized Indonesia's annexation of West
Military and Police Attack Civilian Homes
A combined military and police force on August 31 raided civilian homes near
Nafri, outside Abepura, where an August 1 assault on a largely civilian convoy
killed four and wounded six. The perpetrators of that attack remain unknown
though investigations by local NGOs point to a provocation by the Indonesian
military's notorious special forces (Kopassus).
The Nafri attack may have been part of a strategy by security forces to create
instability to undermine large scale Papuan demonstrations set for August 2 (see
August West Papua Report). According to the government, the military/police
attack on the civilian homes was in pursuit of Papuans responsible for the Nafri
report translated by TAPOL provides detail on the late August military and police operation. On 31 August , the homes of four Papuans were
targeted by the Army (TNI-AD) and Brimob (special unit of the Indonesian
police) supplemented by the police force of Papua. Thirteen Papuans were
arrested. Local witnesses report that occupants of the four houses were in their
homes at the time of the operation and that some of whom were asleep. The
security forces entered the area where the homes were located and started firing
warning shots which traumatized the local people. Although the thirteen
initially evaded the security forces, all of them, including an eight year old
girl, were arrested. (See also West Papua Media Alerts'
State terror campaign around Jayapura.)
Ten, including the eight year old, were subsequently released but two were two
detained, Ekimar Kogoya, 22 years, and Panius Kogoya, 20 years old. The security
forces that conducted the sweep, which appear to have included elements of the
notorious Detachment 88 , are formally charging the two now
being held with involvement in the killings in Nafri August 1 and say that they
are suspected of being members of the TPN/OPM.
Mathius Murib, deputy chair or the National Human Rights Commission's (Komnas
HAM) Papua branch
told media that
"proper procedures were not followed and the people who were detained were
subjected to mal-treatment, and what is even more disturbing is that a child of
7 or 8 years old was kidnapped at the same time."
The Nafri incident and subsequent "sweeps" follows the standard modus operandi
of Indonesian security forces operating in West Papua: An incident, possibly
staged, is used to justify augmenting security forces in an area which then
violate local citizens rights with sweeps designed to intimidate the local
population. These sweeps usually coincide with periods of growing popular
protest over political repression and human rights violations. This modus
operandi is part of the Indonesian security force playbook and was regularly
witnessed at work in Indonesian-occupied East Timor.
Prominent Human Rights Organizations Call for
End to Indonesian Government Resort to Military Measures in West Papua
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), the Commission
for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), the Indonesian Human
Rights Monitor (Imparsial), and the International Federation for Human Rights
the Indonesian government to reassess its reliance on military measures to
address growing dissent in West Papua. The organizations noted in a September 21
statement that their call came amidst growing violence in the region.
force reliance on extrajudicial killing, arbitrary arrest, torture of
detainees, and repression of peaceful dissent reflect the reality that
Suharto-dictatorship rules and procedures still apply in West Papua.
WPAT notes that security force reliance on extrajudicial killing, arbitrary
arrest, torture of detainees, and repression of peaceful dissent reflect the
reality that Suharto-dictatorship rules and procedures still apply in West
The four organizations decried the continuing buildup of security forces in West
Papua, which Imparsial claimed was in the range of 14,000 personnel, and the
continuing impunity accorded those forces for their violation of
constitutionally protected human rights. They also condemned Government efforts
to preclude monitoring of conditions in West Papua by journalists, international
human rights monitors and other legitimate observers.
The four organizations called on the Indonesian government to:
- Instruct its military to immediately cease all unlawful surveillance
activities in Papua and revise its current draft intelligence bill by
incorporating recommendations by civil society and bringing it into line
with the Indonesian Constitution and Criminal Procedure Code, as well as
international human rights law;
- Take steps to reduce the heavy presence of non-organic military
personnel and their involvement in civil administration in Papua and
seriously implement security sector reform;
- Fully and credibly investigate all past and new allegations of human
rights abuses, especially those perpetrated by state security forces, and
promptly bring perpetrators to justice;
- Strengthen civilian oversight and rigorous parliamentary scrutiny of
military policies, operations and budget; and
- Respect the role of human rights defenders and ensure unfettered
access to Papua by civil society groups and actors, including foreign and
domestic journalists and independent human rights monitors.
Freeport Under Growing Labor and Government Pressure
|Freeport Grasburg mine, Timika, Papua.
Workers at the giant Freeport McMoran gold and copper mine have been
on strike since September 15 demanding higher wages and protesting numerous
violations of their rights.
The violations they contend the company has committed include Freeport's hiring
of strike breaker workers (scabs). It remains unclear whether courts will
sanction the strike action as legal.
In addition to facing pressure from its workers, Freeport is also under
government pressure to renegotiate is contract with the Indonesian government. All major foreign mining firms in Indonesia are obliged to renegotiate
their contracts to ensure that they are in accordance with the 2009 Mineral and
Coal Law which is intended to increase government income from the mining sector.
The new law mandates that existing mining contracts be adjusted to the in
accordance with the new law. Freeport is one of the few foreign mining firms
that has yet to renegotiate its contract.
According to Freeport, under its existing 1991 contract, it has been Indonesia's
largest tax payer: Freeport said in a press statement that in the first half of
this year, the company paid US$1.4 billion in financial obligations to the
Indonesian government. From 1992 to June 2011, the company contributed a total
of $12.8 billion to the country.
The Jakarta Post writes that the firm's mine covers 213,000 hectares. Royalty
payments from the company accounted for 68 percent of Papua's gross domestic
regional product (GDRP) and 96 percent of Timika's GDRP in 2010. During that
year, the company contributed $1.9 billion to the state income from tax and
non-tax payments and invested $2.1 billion.
WPAT Comment: While Freeport is a major source of revenue for the Indonesian
government, that revenue is only a small portion of the vast profits that
Freeport has reaped from its operation which were launched in 1967, even before
Indonesia formally annexed West Papua in 1969. The extraordinary wealth accruing
to Freeport and the Indonesian government stands in stark contrast to the
grinding poverty and lack of development that has been the plight of the Papuan
people, particularly those Papuans such as the Kamoro and Amungme people who
have seen their lands stolen and polluted by the Freeport operation. The
corrupt bargain between Jakarta and Freeport is a legacy of the 1962 "New York
Agreement" which the US Government orchestrated in a cold war ploy, absent the
consent or even the involvement of the Papuan people.
UN Secretary General's Candid
Comments on West
Papua Partially Pulled Back
UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, at a press conference in Auckland New Zealand
on September 7, spoke directly and candidly in
response to two questions about
West Papua. His
comments appeared to suggest his support for international calls for the West
Papua to be listed among those territories considered by the UN General
Assembly's Decolonization Committee. He also appeared to be sympathetic to
discussion of West Papua in the Human Rights Council. Implicit in the UNSG's
comments were both a recognition that there was merit in a review of West
Papua's legal status and that there was a basis for concern regarding the human
rights situation in West Papua. In particular, the UNSG responded to what was a
legal/political question about West Papua by introducing in his response concern
over human rights in West Papua.
A portion of the Secretary General's
comments were corrected in
New York on September 13 by an unnamed "spokesperson for the Secretary-General
on Papua." The "spokesperson" contended that the Secretary-General had been
speaking "off-the-cuff." The Secretary-General's original comments in New
Zealand are nonetheless significant. The text of the two questions and his
Question: [unclear] With regards to human rights - for more than forty two
years, there's a struggle in West Papua as people seeking their government in
the province of West Papua. What is the United Nations stand on that?
BKM: This issue should also be discussed at the Decolonisation Committee of the
United Nations General Assembly And when it comes again, whether you are an
independent state or a non-self-governing territory or whatever, the human
rights is inalienable and a fundamental principle of the United Nations.
We will do all to ensure that people in West Papua, their human rights will be
Question: Does a human rights fact-finding mission has be dispatched to West
Papua at some time?
BKM: That is the same answer [to a previous question on Fiji] that should be
discussed at the Human Rights Council amongst the member states.
Normally the Secretary General acts on the basis of a mandate given by
The spokesperson's statement was as follows:
His off-the-cuff response may have led to the misunderstanding that he was
suggesting the matter of Papua should be placed on the agenda of the
Decolonization Committee. The Secretary-General wishes to clarify that this was
not his intention.
Interestingly, the spokesman's correction let stand the UNSG's apparent
endorsement of the need for a discussion of the human rights situation in West
Papua in the Human Rights Council.